PM Modi hints for lockdown 4.0, asks states for suggestions by May 15.

PM Modi hints for lockdown 4.0, asks states for suggestions by May 15.

PM Modi hints for lockdown 4.0, asks states for suggestions by May 15.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held a meeting with chief ministers of all States and UTs. During the meeting PM Modi hints at the fourth phase of nationwide lockdown. Before any official announcement or decision, the PM asks states to suggest ‘broad strategy’ on lockdown by May 15.

PM Modi appreciates the chief ministers for their proactive role in the first against Covid19 pandemic. In the meeting held via video conference, PM Modi discusses the road ahead for India in this fight.

“I (PM Modi) request you all to share with me by May 15, a broad strategy on how each one of you would want to deal with the lockdown regime in your particular state. I want states to make a blueprint on how to deal with various nuances during and after gradual easing of lockdown,” says PMO in a statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also suggests that the implementation of measures in the third phase of lockdown are not necessary in the fourth phase, hinting towards lockdown 4.0. 

“I am of the firm view that the measures needed in the first phase of lockdown were not needed during the 2nd phase and similarly the measures needed in the 3rd Phase are not needed in the fourth.”

States Unity for Lockdown Extension.

During the meeting states and UTs mostly discussed region specific problems. But they all stood in unity on timely and phased removal of nationwide lockdown. Several chief ministers also request PM Modi to extend lockdown till May 31.

Most of the states want to gradually ease up the lockdown restrictions. Several chief ministers bat for reopening the economy in non-containment zones. Some of them showed concern on resumption of rail services in the country from Tuesday.

Though the extension of lockdown beyond May 17 is likely to happen, the Central government is keen on reopening the economic activities. Although this time PM Modi asks the states to take a call on whether or not resuming economic activities in their respective state. He asks them if they want to shut economic activities only in containment zones or in the entire red zone districts.

Global Recognition for India.

There is a global recognition for India’s successful handling of the coronavirus pandemic, says PM Modi during his interaction with the CMs. “Let us stay the course as we move forward together.”

“We now have reasonably clear indication as to the geographical spread of the pandemic in India, including the worst hit areas. Moreover, over the past few weeks, officials have understood operating procedures in a time such as this, right up to the district level,” says Modi.

According to the PM, now we have to focus more on the fight against the coronavirus pandemic as the economic activities will gather steam in coming days. In several parts of the country, economic activities have already pick pace and it will increase gradually.

Phased Exit.

Several chief ministers are in favour of phased exit from the lockdown. Many vote that states should have the right to make decisions regarding lockdown relaxations and restrictions. According to the chief minister of Chhattisgarh states should get the responsibility to declare red, green and orange zones.

States like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu also raise objections on resumption of passenger trains from Tuesday. They urge the Prime Minister to not resume rail and air services until this month.

“We propose to do away with the district-wise demarcation into red, orange and green zones. Only containment zones should be identified and strictly cordoned. At least 50 to 100 meters around the known clusters may be declared as containment zones. Commercial activities including public transport should be allowed in non-containment zones,” says Karnataka CM.

Two Main Challenges.

According to PM Modi currently we have two most important challenges to overcome. “We have a two-fold challenge — to reduce the transmission rate of the disease. Second, to increase public activities gradually while adhering to all the guidelines. And we will have to work towards achieving both these objectives.”

Punjab, Telangana, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Bihar want an extension of lockdown till May 31. While states like Delhi, Odisha and Karnataka sought for resumption of economic activities in red zones post May 17. 

We can only conclude that there will be an extension of lockdown beyond May 17 but with restrictions mostly in containment zones. The final decision is yet to come and we will have to wait for it until May 15. 

Nidhi Shree

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